tv Peter Cozzens Discusses The Earth is Weeping CSPAN January 28, 2017 3:33pm-4:34pm EST
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you will miss future authors, you, your family, and friends that they don't like to see and interact with. we offer first edition of our author's books, for the auto form, and a library for you and your family. today we welcome c-span once again to our shop. if you're watching it on c-span, you can't leave a live question but you can go to our archives, and you can watch 11 years of what we have done and perhaps signed first editions available. we are very proud to welcome peter cozzins. it is not the first time he had
been with us. he walked into a shop with a 15-year-old interested in the civil war. this was three years ago. the retired foreign service officer, in 2002, awarded the american foreign service association's highest award for exemplary moral code, integrity and creative dissent. he is the author or editor of 16 books on the american civil war, the indian war, american west, among them, stolen river, chickamauga, chattanooga, john pope, he added to the original battles and leaders from 1887 or
1888, volume 6, also written the eyewitnesses to the indian war of 1865-1890 published in five volumes and shenandoah 1862, stonewall jackson's valley campaign. the latest book is the earth -- "the earth is weeping: the epic story of the indian wars for the american west". it is 544 pages, and $35. this is a true historical page turner. and you still keep a large number of places and actions understandable across a vast geographical area and a vast time. talking just before, and first editions are not scarce, second
edition are scarce. even before publication. >> how to come about to give a natural extension of the indian wars and how did you derive the title as well. >> my interest in the indian wars is a drive from work on the biography of john pope. i was surprised john pope was dismissed by history after suspending weapons -- by robert e lee, and quite an important role in indian wars. more important extraordinary humanitarian views and the plight of the indians, very empathetic to them, i discovered it was a prevailing point of view, and it was remarkable for the indians.
that led me -- the title is not a quote of my own imagination. you will find various combinations of lyrics, in a period, mother earth, sad, weeping, their deteriorating situation in the west. >> we begin the study, the eyewitness to the indian wars, and expanded battles and leaders as well but the indian wars, this begins a balanced view, one of the first to give such a balance view, what sources were most valuable in researching
this book. >> principally on the indian side, what sources are more apparent in army diaries, and there were a number of ethnographers, professional and otherwise who took testimony from indian lawyers at the end of the indian wars when they were young enough to recall what occurred, those provided a rich resource and congressional documents seems like anytime anyone sneezed in the west in the post-civil war, congress call the hearing and quite often they invited indian chiefs to testify before congress to present their point of view. another rich resource and memoirs of a number of indians
that were taken down while they were still alive, published in recent years. i was able to find enough credible vivid sources in participants at all levels who tell a story 50/50. >> host: you have wonderful maps in this book that really help the reader, help me as i went through the book. an overview of the indian population of tribes in the west, where do they come from -- >> guest: i will speak of the period 1865-66, i provide that. can't see with any degree of
certain the what the population was. approximately 250,000 of whom, 75,000 resided on the planes in the northwest. the principal tribe, in the book going from north to south on the planes, the lakota nation, the 7 tribes, northern cheyenne, arapahoe, the apache in the southwest, nez perce of idaho in california. and among tribes that were friendly to the government, shoshone of the rocky mountains.
and central plains. and there was a lot of 150 or 200 years has action begins, there was a lot of jockeying, the lakota, cheyenne and arapahoe like woodland tribes that pushed west by expanding white settlement. and clash with tribes that were native to the planes and push them away, to be associated with them. and pushed to the mountains, the black hills have been a source
of contention, going south with the comanche in the southern plains, other tribes, and further north decimated smallpox and other white man's diseases. >> displacing another set. >> one of my rentable feces and the course of the research, but we associate with the great planes, with newcomers themselves than they had been on planes, it was one wave of immigration. 's >> host: i want to get to the thesis of your book.
the assessment, the basic theme running through. basic misconceptions. of the army and the enemy. the art -- extermination allegedly and indians themselves who you are mentioning quite a bit, did not stand up united against white settlements coming in. i put this forward early on in the book. there is no period, steeped in myth in the area in the american west. in wounded knee, for the first 80 years after the indian wars,
the perception was the army is a shining white knight of white settlers and indians as bad hard -- cardboard cutouts to the army and governing and in 1970 the pendulum shifted the opposite direction, very my heart in wounded knee, from the perspective of the victims in films like little big man and the pendulum swings, informed our understanding. what i tried to do is tell the story again in a balanced fashion. >> host: our man, abraham lincoln, presided over the beginning of the wars in the west, minnesota, the sioux
uprising. from the late 1880s 1090s that had in this the hanging of those 26 indians altogether, 300 plus that were going to be hangs, lincoln did pardon the others. is this really the spark for the wars that followed? >> the most egregious myth, the army was hell-bent on killing indians, that is not the case, and policy may have been extermination.
and fighting tribal warfare. and the question on the minnesota -- not really. it made westerners a lot less tolerant by indians in the midst. a lot of the slightest -- perhaps portending general uprising, the poisons atmosphere in the months, sand creek occurred, that reaction is so dramatic in part, bred by the minnesota uprising. >> the internal conflicts over and over again that i saw on both sides, surprised me a bit,
within both the army and the indians had those decisions. the indians, between those that were ready to have peaceful settlements and those who wanted to resist aggressively. explain these. >> there was no tribe that thought the government, fought the army that was ever fully united, not a single tribe. it boiled down to a question, whether a particular faction, believed that resisting the whites was in fact a policy with any chance of success, whether
it was futile and they were better off trying to accommodate so quite often would be the case, the government had a policy of bringing chiefs to washington dc but the power of the whites in chief come back from washington traveling across the country and there were small tribes, 300 - 4000 people, no chance in the long run and these heads of the piece factions seek accommodation as the only possible way of surviving. the only time there was unanimity was among the tribes that united that like the shoshone and poni. >> host: interesting that i collect the black hawk war,
lincoln was in that bar, only three month and that was it. they brought it at the end of it, brought black hawk east, same way and he went back and stayed peaceful after that. interesting they brought him up the eastern coast to be seen in baltimore, philadelphia, washington, andy jackson was going up at the same time on a tour, political tour and black hawk bringing more people to him, people come out in droves to see the indian chiefs. >> at first. my book begins with a conference between abraham lincoln and the delegation of cheyenne chiefs. after their tour of washington
dc which included union fortifications and so forth, pt barnum arranged a deal to take them to new york city and they were paraded around new york city and pt barnum hat i forget how any shows but it went on for a couple weeks and sold-out audiences and they were great novelties but after a while these were so frequent like revolving door delegation's, the novelty wore off on the part of americans in the east. >> host: my technical staff asked me to read this. if you are having issues with today's show please close and reopen your browser. return to officevoice.net and select low-speed stream. please do that, we want to keep you with us.
there are also intertribal contacts, from having unity. some tried that, the sioux and the cheyenne were together a number of times but was this one of the major aspects of the defeat of the indians that they cannot unify against a common threat? >> the doubt expedited their defeat. the problem arose from the nature of indian society and the west. it was a warrior culture. a young man did not even court a girl or look for a wife between accumulated warmongers. those that were obtained at the expense of white settlers were not considered to be nearly as
worthwhile as those taken from combat or other indians so intertribal wars bred into the culture, this intertribal conflict continues through the indian wars. so the sioux or lakota were facing threats from white minors, settlers. on the one hand, at the same time trying to push the grow further west out of their country. the tribe was never able to focus their attention entirely to the white threat. >> host: was it the same in the northwest, the paranoid threat? >> guest: things were pretty settled. they were in their homeland for quite some time and there was some of that but far less pronounced than on the great plains.
>> host: let's talk about warriors versus soldiers which you do quite a bit. the indians were brave, hard but organized, trained to be better warriors, soldiers were quick to organize with more resources to draw from but they were still trained, less qualifying, what happened? why did the army devolve from the civil war and those in the west were not up to the same standards we all have read about in the civil war? same with the indians. what sort of warriors where they and how did they organize their campaigns? >> guest: the volunteer army that fought the civil war, congress was intent on paying down war just as rapidly as
possible and they kept sniffing away at the army from 57,000 to fewer than 30,000 by the time of little bighorn. as they did so they decreased incentives, the pay of a private soldier during the indian wars was less than that of a private soldier during the civil war. with the exception of the period of the financial panic of 1873, no incentives to enlist in the army and literally most endeded up deserting as quickly as possible. some were as high as 85%. men came west. at the expense of the government and deserted at the first opportunity to work in gold
mines or start up on their own, more concerned about losing equipment and manpower. you had low quality and the officer corps, opportunities were so slow. motion to the rank of lieutenant colonel and a lieutenant coming out west started the indian wars, i forget the exact amount of time that expect to wait upwards of 25 years before making major. someone in the army, navy journal, in a few years, a few years, too old and crippled to fight, just a bunch of hobbled old. incentives were low for officers and enlisted men, trading was nonexistent, there were no
centralized training facilities, you went to so-called training depot but not only no time but no budget even for target practice. the warriors were raised from childhood to become warriors so that was their culture, their way of life. one army colonel called them the best natural cavalry in the world. >> host: we have two artifacts. here is what. the journal of army life. although this is prior to your book, army life must have been awful. talking about the desertion rates. so did it remain that throughout the war?
>> guest: conditions were better before the civil war because during the civil war the army posts were allowed to fall into disrepair and general sherman went on tour at the start of the wars and wrote a scathing report on the condition of both, made one comment, if the press were to see, if black overseers and plantation owners had kept their slaves in conditions is filthy and miserable in which our soldiers lived, one regiment when it came west shoveled inches of that guano out of their barracks before they could settle in. in many cases, the barracks were so rickety they would fall over in a windstorm, lack of budget.
>> host: dances with wolves was just on. kevin costner reminded me of this. any of these people deserted or others go native? certainly george cook to some extent did. >> i know of no case of an army officer deserting. >> host: soldiers themselves? >> guest: documented -- there are a handful of cases. one in particular during one of the conflicts in the southern plains, the indians were believed to have thought corrected by bugle calls in the bugler believed to have been a deserter by a black unit. ..
running again between the electors so to speak and the needs of the nation. during a continued economic depression. and the rights of the indians. and the thinking was if a provoked war with those residing off of the reservation was on land promised to them, speaking of the bands that followed sitting bull and crazy horse, we could defeat them then that defeat would pressure reservation chiefs to sell to the government. if we could tame them and mine them. >> the peace policy that grant claimed after this, before that. for many years, continued. but it changed. and he changed. and decided not to have the same peace policy but to become more aggressive. what changed him?
>> fundamentally, he did not, the peace policy continued the official policy with i think the best of intentions by president grant. really up until the whole question of the black bills arose. the gradual decline so much as ending abruptly in the secret cabal in the white house means of provoking a war.>> to actually provoke the war. >> yes. >> how did the press get into this? and i have here, this is really from the black hawk war again. but again this was, this pamphlet really did provoke the populace against the indians. and what was the role of the
press and those days, they were following the army as they went along. >> it was ubiquitous. effective began another excellent source they used. of course for writing my book. i probably site upwards of 50 newspapers. correspondence traveled with the army or if a conflict developed they would go to the scene of the conflict. and accounts often they interviewed the participants as well. in fact, one of the best accounts i have of what was called hancock's work, one of the first topics was a series of dispatches to the missouri republic by a henry morton stanley. he was a young stringer with the missouri republicans and in new york paper. and the press was ubiquitous in general terms, the eastern
press was sympathetic to the indians and into the indian rights. the western press was in many cases extermination nest.>> they were right there. >> they were right there. >> you talk about humanitarians that were in the east. did they have that influence? >> that huge influence. in fact they were quakers in particular, were influential in the grants developing a peace policy. he turned over ãthe ironic thing about all of this is the eastern humanitarians and their desire to save the indians, they saw nothing worthwhile in indian culture worth saving. so they were agents of culture genesis is much as the government was. they had the belief that the indians had to be
christianized, civilized, concentrated in reservations. for the indians to have a chance of surviving. which was, again, in light of the times it was not necessarily immoral or unrealistic way of looking at things. but again the humanitarians had a very paternalistic view of the indians. they wanted to save them but not the culture. >> so they had this but they weren't influential enough to do much more. >> they weren't influential enough to stop the conference that arose and often times they were sympathetic when conflicts arose. sympathetic with the army. and it is hard to generalize but the influence of the humanitarians really came front and center after most of the fighting was over.
in terms of the fighting winding down and how do we speed their acculturation. that is where they really stepped in full course. >> and another internal conflict between the bureau of indian affairs and that happens throughout this book. bickering over indian policy. and the ãbeing part of this. did they influence public opinion as well? what was that conflict of the bickering between them? >> absolutely. it was again the army saw the indian bureau as hopelessly corrupt. and they cheap, this is a standing joke of the day, and indian chief said to general you know, our indian agent is a great man. when he comes he brings all of his belongings in a little handful of beliefs.
when he leaves he takes two steamboats to take them away. there was so much corruption, so much diverting of good and money intended for the indians. in the army was where aware of this. they were against it. the indian bureau, their counter arguments, which lacked a certain amount of moral basis, but they argued that the army was, d civilized. if that's a word. influence on the indians. and the army would want, they were interested in constant conflict. so they were not the appropriate home for the bureau of indians. when in fact, ãas general john pope once said we had no interest in indian wars. you know that means hardship and separation from our families and know that we love and cherish. the army did not want these wars.
that was an ongoing issue throughout the indian wars. >> we have a ãsorry, a question from louisville. thank you very much. we appreciate your questions. based on your massive indian wars study -- how does this compare e- >> i cannot has that black-and-white. read the book. nelson miles and cook and the rivalry. there was an intense rivalry. more a part of he was probably most ambitious general in this period. in a nutshell i would say that miles, for all of his ambition and his backstabbing of fellow officers, was uniformly humane
and just in his treatment with the indians. where cook talked a good game. and he enjoyed his reputation. of being uniformly humane and he was not, he did a lot of doubledealing. but at the end of the day he to was sympathetic in a larger sense with the indians. in terms of who was a better commander, is a difficult question to answer because fighting the indians also involved policy and politics. but i guess, if i had to, if i were press i would give a slight edge to nelson miles in terms of that. george cook performed a guess i can say miserably during that war as becomes clear in the
book. >> there are so many conflicts and actions and tribes and officers and men that populate this book. that all we can do is put spotlights on a few of them. and hope that you want to read this fine book. and that is really the way to understand all of this. and i also want to say that my technical staff they have asked me to say that we are having some issues and experiencing that the. we are having technical problems.those of you are going to be on the archive will see this entire show. so do comes the archive and you'll be able to see all of this as well. they say it is working now if you're experiencing some issues because the program in its entirety on youtube. go to author's voice.
i don't know if this is still in the cross of india say that they were indians that did help the army. or the crows were another. the army have succeeded in what they did without them? >> it would have taken a lot longer. >> on their part. >> they would taken a lot longer. even to find hostile indians. the rule of indian was, decisive and almost every conflict. most particularly in tracking down hostile apaches. the army used apaches to fight apaches. and without ãgeronimo descendents may still be in
northern mexico. the pawnee for example. had it not been for a unit called the pawnee battalion, recruited specifically and equipped as regular soldiers. they tried to prevent these nonstop raids by the cheyenne and ãon the construction crews and survey cues of the union pacific. had the pawnee battalion that existed and given such a ãit is were part of personal estimate that it would take at least a year, perhaps longer for the transcontinental railroad to be completed. if the pawnee battalion, it was instrumental in the completion of it.
it would not have happened nearly as quickly. to give one example of how important. >> i was struck as a student of the blackhawk wars in 1832 as i mentioned. how much of the policies were the same? everything is the same west as well as ease. and for the blackhawk, the second fox indians, they were fairly settled to some extent as well. and those minds are what brought the whites to them and to kick them out. and there we were, the same thing, mineral rights and the dakotas and elsewhere in the west. that the whites wanted that land or mineral rights. some of it of course was the panic that occurred and certainly that was part of the problem that everyone was looking for gold to help the economy at least. >> that predated an postdated ã
gold was the great possessor of indian lands. it was gold that led to the settlement of denver colorado. it was the gold discoveries that dispossess purchase some of their land. it was gold in northern california and southern oregon. that led to conflicts there. it was gold in arizona and new mexico that led to conflict with the apache. gold, gold, every time it was a major gold strike. disposition of indian land. absolutely. it was gold or silver. >> we do the same think they with pipelines out west? we are having a problem today. >> exactly. >> we have a question please
talk about the use of alcohol in the indians and the other side. >> i'm not sure how many times i've indexed the word alcohol. but it is one of the longer index entries in the book. alcohol was ubiquitous on both sides. it ãthe officer corps was rampant with alcohol. i devotes a couple of pages just to the use of alcohol in general among the soldiers and the officers. the most case of course is major reno little big horn who was a drunk throughout the battle. so that he could not even organize a defense at little big horn. and indians in the entire villages would fall prey to alcohol and be on constant
long-term binges. it was a constant influence among the indians. it was ever present in the army as well. custer was one of the few people who tea total there's in the army. >> was the winter the time of the army tried to displace the indians because they were ãin the winter frankly. >> on the plains in particular. >> wasn't the same when you part of the apaches. it wasn't the same. >> no, because they lived in temporary shelters. they were usually dismantled and as opposed to the plains tribes who after the hunt they would settle into usually well sheltered river bottoms that
provided a good source of water. good windbreak, they would set up their lodges, teepees for the winter. there parties would grow gods. the mobility would become virtually nonexistent. they were sitting ducks so to speak. and so that evolved pretty quickly as the armies choice time of year to launch indian campaigns. of course the army face great challenges themselves. some of these winter campaigns took place in 30 and 40 degrees below zero temperatures. >> i am called just reading this. >> sme these poor guys were out there with frozen hands and frozen meat and you know falling off your horse if you are revived it meant almost certain death. but the indians were stationary. and the indians never expected
to be attacked in the dead of winter. they believed winter to be their best ally. even though battles like the ã in the dead of winter, the indians never quite were able to come to terms with the vulnerability. they had to hunker down for the winter. >> mentioning ãcuster was there and you absolve them from that massacre. it was very lopsided battle. and you absolve them from that although, there are other aspects. for instance left on the ground and people like ben ãfrom everyone knows from the big horn belles was slow to help custer. i'm wondering if, first of all talk about the why you absolve him from that massacre. and did he hold a grudge at little big horn and go to solely to try and help?
>> they were in no way shape or form a massacre to everyone who called it that. it was and unfair. it was a battle. hardly lopsided. following the tactic that the army decided on during the winter, he outnumbered the black pebbles village enormously.nearly 800 men. black cattle had nearly 60. they had rapes and murders. custer issued strict orders and like you see in little big men custer issued orders against killing men and -- women and
children. but it was inevitable that some would die. and they were cases of women to picking up organs and fighting the cavalry. but there were some atrocities. there were actually committed by custer's indian scouts. and when custer heard that one of his companies were firing on women, he sent a courier to put a stop to it at once. so custer never intended to make war on noncombatants. but to a degree it was kind of collateral loss that was inevitable. you can question the humanity of the overall strategy but to say that custer was out to kill civilians was wrong. and it was not a massacre. a massacre of course by definition is one-sided intentional killing of people
who are unable to defend themselves. that was not the case. in fact custer lost more men than the warriors did. >> was very connection to ben team? >> he rode off in his own hook to chase some indians and became quite separated from custer and the main body. by the time custer was aware of his departure, custer himself was in danger of being surrounded by a superior force of indians who camped downriver. and they will begin to appear on the battlefield. so custer had to make tracks. he could not hang around for major elliott and ben teen-- and he believes himself a
better officer than almost anyone else. he had quite an ego. and whether or not, i don't know, i don't believe that cause him to move slowly at little big horn. he had been sent on by custer on what he thought was a fools mission and scouts to the west side of mission and he did to reap glory for himself. but once he became cognitive that there was fighting going on he picked up the pace. >> bullis talk about struggle it's going to him too much. you have a full story and many people know that story. anyway but in the civil war you write that custer is effectively new when to hold fast charge or retire. he said his hair was always clear. so what happened? did he have medical ambitions? perhaps become president? >> i think the whole theory is pure nonsense.
custer, the time you broke free at the yellowstone river on june 22 1876 he began his three-day writing search of the indians. the best intelligence of the army had was that the seventh calvary alone would outnumbered the indians. the army was not aware of this huge amount of indians coming from the reservations and joining sitting both. and which caused the indian warriors to grow from 6 to 700 to over 1500 perhaps as many as 2000. within the course of a week or so. custer was not aware of that. even the scouts believed that they were only a few hundred warriors. he had discretion of orders. he was encouraged wednesday found the indians to give battle to them because everyone realized how difficult it was once he found the indians to engage.
and if the past were any indication that the indians would break camp and flee. so custer was operating under the best intelligence the army had at the time. again, we could spend an hour on this but his actions, i fault him only for separating his horses. that is the only place i really find fault with him. and of course that proved to be a fatal mistake due to the size of the village. >> talk briefly about the indian agents certainly ambitious and lot it seems. does that cross the board? is that how we should view the indian agents? they really did take advantage of their posts? >> indian nations, those who were held the appointment to a political patronage which was the majority during most wars. there were some who were
upright and had the indians best interest in mind but they were not in the majority. there were some very scurrilous and crooked indian ages. there was a period during grants administration when he turned over some of the crucial agencies on the planes to the quakers and other denominations. they ran the agencies honestly but often times displayed incredible nacvetc.there were instances in which the army is given control of the agencies from time to time. they invariably ran the regency as well and honestly. and in general, indians referred army officers as agents over civilians because the army officers, if an army officer committed something he would suffer the consequences
and they knew it. absolutely. >> what about the missions, the commissioners? parker was on grants staff during the civil war. we once had in our shop the ã in which he wrote out the terms of surrender that were then signed by lee and grant. he had a beautiful hand as well. and he was placed as an indian commissioner. but he eventually had to that he left kind of quickly. what was the role of the indian commissioner briefly and did they have any influence in all of this? >> the commission of the bureau of indian affairs oversaw all relations with tribes with nonhostile tribes. and so they manage all the indian ãsuperintendents, they, most of the agents were honest
but they were also ãi'm sorry most want us but there are also a handful of correct indian commissioners who became locked in scandal. even the best intended but parker, believed the indians only had a future lay enculturation. >> we haven't gotten to all the bells there so many of them and so fascinating. again their vision with real movement in your narrative so that we want to turn that page and hear about another one as well and what happened. it doesn't, i do not get bogged down later. in the battle at beech island in 1868, i didn't know much about it at all. and cheap roman nose was there. foresight on the other side. what brought me to it frankly was, there was a jew there as
well. he killed indians and a charity for the starving soldiers next him. and general fry later on wrote this poem in 1893 and this is only one part of it. and the foe charged with madness and despair and the bravest souls work tested. a little jew was there. a little patronizing okay. but nonetheless he was there and made his mark. but, beecher island was a fascinating battle.and what was its influence? >> is interesting that you say soldiers. they were not soldiers. they were ? >> surveyors. >> they were actually civilian scouts. kind of a ranger force of civilian scouts that sheridan got up because the army was so inept at fighting the indians during the summer, during the ã the indians were mobile and that led to the whole winter strategy.
the army was so inept that he wanted someone to buy the indians or is it better to fight them and experience plainsman. he recruited 60 plainsman. and had one of his staff george forsyth leave them. they were outnumbered tend to want to besieged beecher island. and they survived, barely. >> barely. are there any controversies in the wars of west that you feel are still controversial? they have not been able to decide one way or the other what really happened. is there any one or two of them that come to mind? and maybe not. >> not really. and i'm not saying this to sound at all arrogant. but i, even when did knee, i will not spoil but they may
surprise some people. i came to a conclusion that i'm pretty comfortable with as to the question of whether or not wounded knee was exactly massacre. so in terms of individual conflicts, going to resolve them to my satisfaction after four years. >> that is the best part of this book. your take on this. someone that really has delved into this greatly. is there, there is an indian museum we talked about prior to the show that you are really, you feel everyone should go to. >> the buffalo bill center of the american west. in wyoming. i can't recommend highly enough and if you going out to yellowstone it is worth the extra hour or hour and 15 minutes. it is a remarkable place. one museum dedicated to buffalo bill, one to the weapons, the biggest collection in the
united states. and in a western art museum. and one museum dedicated to the plains tribes. ed is absolutely superb museum. so if you really want the museum that will impart you a feeling of the west in general, that is the place to go. >> i am going to put you to work while i talk to the audience for a few moments. and sign some books for us and for you as well. first vegas is this is very difficult to be able to get into everything. i'm just looking at some of the things i wanted to ask. the naz pierce war we are talking about. wounded knee which was very important and the ghost dance religion that was there at the same time. and red cloud and sitting bull who we have not gotten to. and some of the strategies that are there. we certainly not talked about